Whether you work outside in hot, humid weather, spend your days running up and down stairs, or work indoors near hot equipment, breathable footwear is a must. Sweaty feet can lead to blisters, chafing, and athlete’s foot. Not to mention the fact that hot, uncomfortable feet can mean the difference between the hours of a shift flying by or feeling like they last forever.
KEEN makes a variety of work boots and shoes that offer the protection of the toughest work boots with the light weight and breathability of sneakers. We even make a work sandal for maximum ventilation. Which one is best suited to meet your needs? Ask yourself which of the following statements fits you the best.
“I like the look and feel of hiking boots.”
A hike-inspired work shoe, the men’s and women’s Flint II collection is built for those who clock a lot of miles in a day. It comes equipped with a KEEN.ReGEN midsole that returns 50% more energy than a standard EVA foam midsole for all-day wearability. A moisture-wicking textile lining helps keep feet dry. The siped tread on the oil and slip-resistant rubber outsole sheds water quickly to help keep your footing secure on slippery surfaces. Depending on the level of support and protection you need, you can choose a boot or a shoe, steel or soft toes, and waterproof or water-resistant options. For an even more athletic feel, the men’s and women’s Flint II Sport shoe is a lighter version, with a mesh and synthetic upper and a carbon-fiber toe.
“I needed a shoe that would protect my toes while I kneel, climb ladders, and generally move around a construction site all day. I am a remodeler, and these shoes have paid off in the first week of use. I have had issues in the past with boots that are too loose, and the wear on my feet at the end of the day is painful. These keep my toes protected and are very comfortable around the work site.” - Gordon
“I am a beer delivery driver. I spend my day on my feet, lots of walking (nearly 10 miles per day) up and down stairs. I need safety toe footwear, but it must be comfortable. These boots fill that need. Lightweight, waterproof, steel toe, extremely comfortable.” - Joe B.
“I need the most breathable shoe you have.”
Need extra airflow? Look no further than the men’s Atlanta II Cooler steel toe shoe. It has the breathability and ease of a sandal with the protection you need to get the job done. A mesh and synthetic upper works with a moisture-wicking textile lining to keep feet cool and dry while working in hot and humid conditions. Its safety features include a steel toe, EH (electrical hazard) protection, and an oil and slip-resistant rubber outsole with a siped tread for optimal water drainage. If you’re looking for a leather sandal, the men’s Atlanta II Cooler+ steel toe shoe offers the same breathability and protection in a water-resistant leather version. Other lightweight and breathable models are available in the KEEN Utility Atlanta Collection.
“I work in a trailer factory making boat trailers. I'm the chop saw operator and handle a lot of steel and make a huge mess. I move around a lot in serious heat and have no issues with chafing or discomfort. My feet stay cool, dry, and cozy. Haven't had any foot pain whatsoever. Dropped plenty of steel rails on my feet and haven't felt a thing.” - Big S.
Fans Say: “I didn't think I would find steel-toe safety in a shoe that was also cool and comfortable in the hot and humid seasons of Florida, but these are fantastic.” - Jack D.
“I need the wearability of a lightweight sneaker plus safety protection.”
Originally built for the automotive industry, the men’s and women’s Sparta aluminum toe work boot is a great choice for anyone who does light industrial work. A mesh and synthetic upper and a moisture-wicking textile lining makes the shoe lightweight and breathable. A KEEN.ReGEN midsole returns 50% more energy than a standard EVA midsole to keep you going strong all day. CLEANSPORT NXT™ provides odor protection. The women’s version is built on a women’s-specific last for an ideal fit. KEEN also offers an ESD option for extra protection. The men’s Sparta XT aluminum toe shoe adds an abrasion-resistant, non-mutilating synthetic upper, and a KONNECTFIT heel for a locked-in fit.
“I like this shoe for one great reason, it walks on a concrete floor like I’m walking on a Tempurpedic mattress. It’s that comfortable. I don’t even notice the aluminum toe cap at all.” - Frankie G.
“The song ‘I’m Walking on Sunshine’ is all I need to say. They’re not too heavy, and my feet can breathe. They have flex and work with my inserts. In short, they are wonderful!” - Renee
We call it a work sneaker for a reason. Whether you’re a long-haul truck driver or work in a warehouse, you’ll appreciate the athletic build of the men’s and women’s Vista Energy carbon-fiber toe shoe. A lightweight mesh and synthetic upper and mesh liner keep air circulating to keep feet cool on the factory floor or at the construction site. The KEEN.ReGEN midsole returns energy to every step for comfort that lasts from clock-in to clock-out. The KONNECTFIT heel keeps your foot locked in place to reduce blisters and chafing. Low-cut, mid-cut, and ESD (electrostatic dissipative) versions let you choose your level of protection.
“At last! Safety shoes that are as comfortable as sneakers. Thank you KEEN! These shoes are nice and light. The composite toe guard is very comfortable and roomy, and they are not heavy in the front. The insole fits beautifully to the contour of my foot, and the midsole cushioning is wonderful. They truly do return energy with every step.” - Happy F.
“I work in a paper mill maintenance department, I go from an office environment into some of the worst places in the mill, and I constantly walk on cement floors. This shoe can pass as good looking footwear in the office and still be tough enough to keep my feet supported through all the areas I have to travel to every day.” - Mark
“I always get some back aches after standing on concrete floors for too long, and with these I don't have any aches at the end of the day which is really great. They feel light on my feet and are roomy inside.” - Anne
The end of hot, sweaty feet
The bottom line is, work boots and shoes don’t have to be hot and uncomfortable. KEEN offers many lightweight and breathable options to suit the requirements of your job. With so many choices, why settle?